Hungry for Change

District amends free lunch policy


Photo by Creative Commons

After COVID-era waivers expire school lunch is no longer free. – Made in Canva

People having to pay for it might leave financially struggling kids hungry. It should be free.

— Blake Fussel

Breakfast and lunch are no longer free after COVID-era waivers from the federal government expired, though free and reduced-price school meals are still available. You just have to apply and be considered eligible. 

“I believe less kids will get meals but that’s inevitable because not all kids can pull $30 out every week,” Brayson Reeves (11) said. “I believe there should be a debt system where the student has up to negative $20.”

Many students acknowledged that there are other students who were affected by the change because they aren’t able to afford to buy food every day. Students like Reeves think a debt system that allows students to buy food now and pay for it later would be beneficial. This would enable students to have more time to pay for food. 

“I think our breakfast and lunch should either be free or better quality,” Blake Fussell (12) said. 

Students also think that the quality of the food has decreased even though the food now costs money, and many believe that if the food now costs money, it should meet the standards. Breakfast costs $2.05 and lunch is $3.15 This amount of money times the mandatory 180 days of school  adds up to $935 each year. Most students are unable to afford this on their own, and the students’ families that are financially struggling might not be able to spend the extra money on school lunches.

“I think school lunch and breakfast should be free to encourage kids to eat breakfast in the mornings and to be able to eat lunch if they can’t afford it,” Rocco Lopez (11) said.

Students like Lopez think that helping kids have access to breakfast and lunch would be beneficial for both the students and the school. Students are more likely to get better grades and participate in school activities more when they don’t have to worry about going hungry. The number of students with eating disorders could also potentially decrease, as the lack of free lunch gives students suffering from EDs less incentive to eat.

“People having to pay for it might leave financially struggling kids hungry. It should be free,” Fussell said.